I recently had the opportunity to interview two of “The Kings” from King of the Hammers fame — Jason Scherer (JS) and Loren Healy (LH) agreed to answer a few questions. I appreciate that they took the time out of their busy schedules and while on their way back from the Ultra 4 Triple Crown in Crandon, Wisconsin.
How long have you been racing and what got you into it?
JS – Almost 20 years and I didn’t mean to get into racing, I loved dirt bikes but started riding too late to be competitive and was competing in observed trials well before the first rock crawling competitions. Then by becoming a spotter for my friend Bob Rice I ended-up hooked on crawling. I used my daily driver CJ-5 for the first season of Cal-Rocks and Super Crawl. Then it was onto buggies. Jeff Mello asked me to ride along in his buggy at the 2008 KOH and I knew that was for me — fast, technical and innovative — all the things I liked.
LH – KOH 2009 was my first race, came out for the adventure with all my wheeling friends and got hooked. I have been racing nonstop since.
What is your favorite race and why?
JS – Winning KOH is the greatest feeling. Seeing your family so proud of you is the best. It’s also the perfect culmination of Desert Racing and Rock Crawling and the challenge that comes from combining the two of those is unreal! However I still think I need a dose of Short Course racing in my life, I put a Pro-4 on my Christmas list. 🙂
LH – KOH would probably have to be my favorite race, it is such an amazing event. Racing down in Baja is a very a close 2nd and something I want to do more of, though.
What do you like least about racing?
JS – The worst is the time away from the family so it’s a double-edged sword.
LH – The worst part of racing is all the prep, work, and financial strain. I think people think it’s all fun and games but it’s a brutal business. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do it.
What do you like most about racing?
JS – The best part is the actual challenge of trying to push yourself sometimes well beyond your comfort zone to keep up and get ahead. It doesn’t sound fun but when you do it, it’s the best feeling in the world. I also think making the team proud is pretty high up there!
LH – The best part of racing is once all the work is done, helmet on, and you finally leave the start line — all the stress and worries go away and you get to do what you love. The relationships and friends I’ve made along the way are priceless too.
How does your family cope with all the traveling, limelight, interviews, etc.?
JS – It’s actually fun when they get to come along and see the country, and see what it takes to go for something in life and really make it happen. I wish they could be at all of the races but school is now keeping them home and that makes it hard for me.
LH – My wife and kids love it too, they come to most the races and get to do a lot of fun traveling for different events. It’s busy for them but I hate not having them with me at the races.
What is your recreational Jeep?
JS – I have two Jeeps, my original CJ-5 that I stretched with an Aqualu tub to a CJ-6 when I had kids and a new Starwood JL Jeep.
LH – Current recreational wheeler is a 2018 JLU that we modified with coil overs, 10” Spidertrax Axle’s and “sticky” 40’s. Great family rig. I’m also currently building a 2-seat Jimmy’s 4×4 RW-1 rear steer buggy that I hope to have wrapped up in the next few months to get back to the hard-core wheeling roots I started in.
What is your favorite trail to just relax on?
JS – I love the Rubicon and was even married there so it’s my happy place.
LH – Favorite trail is hard to narrow down to one! Farmington, NM, is my back yard and I love it there. Moab is my favorite place for scenery and great wheeling, but the Rubicon is amazing as well.
What trail is on your bucket list?
JS – I’d like to a few things, rock bouncing and Dakar and even the ULTRA4 European circuit.
LH – There isn’t a whole lot of places I haven’t wheeled but Fordyce is on the list. I’d also love to go check out the trails around South Dakota.
I appreciate these guys taking the time from their busy family, racing and work schedules to share some time with ModernJeeper. They are class acts and are prime examples of why the world of Ultra4 Racing is highly competitive, amazing racing, but still holding onto its family friendly, off-road, roots.